Financial Hardship Policy

Monash ratepayers can apply to Council for assistance relating to any unpaid rates or other charges, under Council's Financial Hardship Policy.

COVID-19 – Hardship Assistance (extended to 30 June 2022)

Monash Council is working to help ratepayers who are experiencing difficulties due to the Coronavirus /COVID-19 pandemic as it impacts lives and businesses. Council has introduced changes to its hardship policy to support our community at this time.

At a Special Meeting of the Council on 27 March 2020, it was resolved to provide additional assistance to any ratepayer impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing hardship and difficulty with paying rates and/or other charges.

This covered any remaining balance of rates for 2019/20 and any continuing difficulty in meeting payment of rates in 2020/21. The assistance was by way of a rates payment deferral, without any penalty interest being charged up to 30 June 2021.

Examples of a charge where this hardship assistance also applies, includes fees paid for Council’s Home Care service, Meals on Wheels or pet registrations.

The assistance will be by way of a rates or other charges payment deferral, without any penalty interest being charged. This assistance applies to all residents and ratepayers (including residential, business and investment property ratepayers) and will be effective from the date an application is received by Council.

To qualify, ratepayers will need to make an application declaring how they have been impacted by COVID‐19 and how that is impacting on their ability to pay their rates or a charge.

Council recognises that during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • every member of our community will be impacted;
  • every business in the municipality will be impacted; and
  • Council’s usual operations and staff will be impacted.

In response to the expected consequences of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • There will be no interest charged on approved rate and/or charge deferrals up until 30 June 2021.
  • Up until 30 June 2021, Council will not require that the property which is the subject of a deferral application be the ratepayer’s principal place of residence for an application.
  • For those businesses with footpath dining on Council land, all footpath trading fees are suspended as of 1 March 2020. Where payments have already been made for any footpath trading after 1 March 2020, Council will provide refunds.

To qualify, ratepayers will need to make an application declaring how COVID-19 has impacted their ability to pay their rates and/or other charges.

For 2021/22, Council has resolved to extend this form of hardship assistance to 30 June 2022. Applicants who have made an application before 30 June 2021 will have the deferral on their rate account/s automatically extended to 30 June 2022 and need not reapply.

An application for COVID-19-related hardship can be accessed below:

Assistance Rates - apply online

Assistance Other Charges - apply online

Excluded - deferment of payment on fines

Confidentiality

Monash Council regards as important the protection of its residents' and other customers' privacy and personal information. The Council will do its best to protect this privacy and personal information in all dealings that it may have with you, in accordance with the principles set out in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

View our Privacy Policy

Any information provided in accordance with the Privacy Policy will be treated as strictly confidential.

Hardship Policy

The policy also applies in cases of financial hardship where homelessness has been cited as a “necessitous circumstance” for not paying Council-imposed fines, such as parking fines.

Financial Hardship Policy (pdf, 327KB) - updated March 2020

The policy was introduced in 2015 and later updated in September 2016 to ensure that:

  • Eligible pensioners over the age of 65 who have lived in their home for more than 10 years are not charged any interest on deferred rates
  • The interest rate charged for other people qualifying under the policy is reduced to 2.5% (much lower than the 10% standard set by the State Government).

Application Form and Assessment Process

People must request assistance from Council in writing, providing full details of the circumstances preventing them from meeting their financial obligations to Council. 

If you would like to speak to us prior to making your application, please call Council on 9518 3555.

Application for Assistance (Appendix B) (pdf, 269KB)

An initial "needs" assessment will be performed by Council officers to determine the level of support and services that may need to be engaged to help the applicant.

If you are not happy with the decision, you can appeal by completing below form:

Appeal Against Decision (Appendix C) (pdf, 240KB)

Financial Counselling Services

National Debt Helpline

Phone: 1800 007 007

Non-profit Victorian Government service providing free, confidential phone financial counselling for Victorians experiencing financial difficulty.

Website: www.ndh.org.au

Please contact the National Debt Helpline to request a referral to see a financial counsellor at your local financial counselling service.

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Last updated: 04 August 2021